Windows Package Manager 1.3.1681 RC adds support for portable app installations

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More than a month ago, we learned that Windows Package Manager – also known as winget – had received preliminary support for installing portable applications in a preview version of the software. Now, it looks like Microsoft is ready to add full support in the stable version of winget, as the latest release candidate (RC) includes this feature.

For those who don’t know what portable or standalone apps are, they’re basically software that doesn’t require traditional installation from the Microsoft Store or the use of conventional .msi or .exe files. You can extract the program files to any folder and run the application immediately. One of the advantages of portable apps is that you can keep them on removable storage and run them on any Windows PC without installation, which is convenient for troubleshooting or maintenance.

Windows Package Manager 1.3.1681 is available in RC version with the following features:

  • Support portable/standalone app installation
  • Add a notes/info field to manifests
  • Add optional URL to expected return codes
  • Manifest field for user manual/documentation
  • Add an alternate version number field to the manifest to make correlation with entries in add/remove programs more reliable
  • Setting to always use detailed logs
  • winget –info should show system architecture
  • An even better progress bar

There are also a few known issues:

  • dotnet package search
  • Allow winget to install MS Store packages without an account, just like MS Store
  • –include-unknown does not work as expected
  • Includes a fix for an app installer bug that caused crashes due to null pointer reads

The complete changelog is quite long but you can check it here.

Microsoft noted that it has disabled experimental features in this release because it is a release candidate. He plans to release another similar build with the experimental features coming soon. The latest version is available for those running Windows 10 version 1809 or higher, and Windows 11. You can download it from here.

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